Christ Present in Faith: Luther's View of Justification

Christ Present in Faith: Luther's View of Justification

Christ Present in Faith: Luther's View of Justification

Christ Present in Faith: Luther's View of Justification


"Tuomo Mannermaa here opens up new interpretive questions for historical theology with implications for ecumenism, ethics, and spirituality. He writes, "the idea of the divine life in Christ which is present in faith lies at the very center of the theology of the Reformer." He argues that later Lutheran interpretation of this teaching has portrayed justification as more mechanical and forensic than Luther did, underestimated the extent to which God's righteousness is also ours, and obscured the radical personal transformation that Luther attributed to justification." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


One of the truly Archimidean insights of the European Reformation was into how human beings can become reconciled to God in Christ. Martin Luther’s notion of justification, as it is called, marked a crucial turning point in Christian theology and sparked momentous changes in all of Christianity.

Yet what precisely did Luther mean by justification? How does it take place? And how are humans, who remain sinners, affected, and their salvation effected, by justification? Tuomo Mannermaa, a premier historical theologian from Finland, has opened these vital questions again in a new, exciting, and increasingly influential way through his work on Martin Luther’s writings. This volume makes available for the first time in English Mannermaa’s single most important work on the subject. Originally published in Finnish twenty-five years ago, it appeared as In ipsa fide Christus adest: Luterilaisen ja ortodoksisen kristinuskonkäsityksen leikkauspist. [In faith itself Christ is really present: The point of intersection between Lutheran and Orthodox theology]. It was published again in 1981, in an unaltered format. A few years later the book was translated into German by Hans-Christian Daniel and Juhani Forsberg—“In ipsa fide Christus adest: Der Schnittpunkt zwischen lutherischer und orthodoxer Theologie”—and published in Tuomo Mannermaa, Der im Glauben gegenwärtige Christus: Rechtfertigung und Vergottung. Zum ökumenischen Dialo. (Hannover: Lutherisches Verlagshaus, 1989). This edition is based on the German text.

It has stimulated new interest and reinvigorated struggle with the classic Christian texts, including Luther’s. Needless to say, Professor Mannermaa is pleased to see his work being offered now in English to an international audience.

Regarding texts quoted in the study and their translation, whenever possible the English Luther quotations are from the American Edition of Luther’s Work. (LW). Where no reference to LW is given, the translation is our own, due to the absence of the text or passage concerned in the American Edition. The Bible quotations . . .

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